It has been a lazy summer. Very lazy. I’d love to go on about all the amazing outdoor adventures I’ve had – but I haven’t had any, and I’m okay with that. I am not a summer gal.
It has been (oddly) a very introspective Summer.
The OBOD course is still going well, but it has been on a bit of a back burner while I complete some classes via edX – in particular via Harvard online. Courses about religion. Hindu and Christian sacred scriptures and studies of world sacred scriptures in general.
The reverence has been lacking again. Over the past number of years it’s been like this. Im going along, doing my thing, la-de-da – and SMACK! Caught up in this feeling of longing. I find myself flipping open Gospel of Thomas, or Thomas Merton and find a sort of spirituality that seems separate from much of the Christian faith. It is simply an ‘experience’ without the dogma.
Since being able to embrace the nature aspect and paganish aspect of OBOD – which is non denominational, I had begun to feel comfortable exploring my religiousity again. When one is ‘Wiccan’ – it is a religious path (or is supposed to be , although it seems more like a ‘practice’ than a religion, smiliar to Golden Dawn or OBOD) and I received a lot of flack before for my on the fence dance between Wicca and Progressive Christianity. I met so many people, well virtually met so many people, who did the textual version of yelling in my face about why someone can not be both.
I realized that there is indeed a current for Wicca and Christianity. Two often conflicting currents of energy/form/ambiance etc which is formed by those who practice both and put their own ideas and opinions into both. I myself felt the conflict. When I discovered Druidry as it is in OBOD, I quickly appreciated it’s designation as a Path and not a Religion. One that tells the student they can be whatever religion they want, and use their rituals etc in a way that reflects whatever they need to reflect for that individual. So I found a framework of spiritual practice that lets me sit within it while I explore my relationship to that Rabbi Jesus who taught people “Hey, God is inside of you, God is all around you”.
Yes, according to church writings (none written by Jesus and all written by people that never even met Jesus while alive) there are many other THOU SHALT NOTs and miracles and all sorts of things. But one of the oldest writings we likely have that reflects Jesus’ true teachings is found in Gospel of Thomas and THAT writing contradicts none of what I believe or practice. In fact, some of it is Hermetic sounding in nature, and some is Dharmic sounding.
See I come across writings by Mitch Albom, Thomas Merton, Marcus Borg and many others – people describing their experiences with God. Like it or not, it is those experiences that resonate fully what I feel. And it is done in a language I understand. The Upanishads, and their description of Brahman/God — the way Thomas Merton describes the little flowers that dance in glory of God, the way Marcus Borg described one of his experiences of God in a lecture I saw. I relate to those 100%.
God is God. Genderless. Being. Existence. Thomas Merton was influenced by Buddhism (which shares many traits with Hinduism), the way God is understood via Experience, outside of Myth and Lore is the same no matter what religion one is in.
So re visiting Gospel of Thomas, I see how those simple words express a full path of how one can live and know God. Also, I was reminded of the Christian path called Unitarian, which eventually became part of Unitarian Universalist (which is non denominational) A Unitarian Christian did not believe in the Trinity, nor a lot of other things that was thought to be later interpolations. I realized that is the sort of Christian I am. Oneness. Coming from One. Learning how to reunite ourselves as One with the Inner and Outer, and a return to One in wholeness.
So many biblical writings and Church practices have become ‘How to Know Jesus’. How disappointing that would have been to Jesus when what HE was doing was trying to teach people how to know God. He was pointing to the moon, but people focus on his finger.
There is my random-thought post for tonight. I will leave off with a beautiful opening from last night’s final quarter of the day by Thomas Merton, taken from the Book of Hours compiled by Kathleen Deignan